A 33-year-old Pastor, Henry Uhunmwagho has been arraigned before a Benin Federal High court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Monday, 12 November on a nine count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence.
Uhunmwagho, a pastor with Church of God Mission, Suleja, Niger State was arrested by the EFCC on the 11th May, 2012, following a petition by Godwin Ochai, a legal practitioner, on behalf of one Mr. Odom Princewill after he was alleged to have collected N1, 436,000 under false pretence to process a United States of American Visa for the petitioner but failed to do so.
Though he pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him in court, the accused admitted in his statement to the EFCC that he collected the alleged money from the petitioner and gave it to one Eze Chucks (now at large), to process the visa but failed to do so.
In his petition against Henry, Princewill alleged that sometimes in 2010, he was introduced to the accused, by Rev. Uzor Onyekwere of the Church of God Mission, Benin.
The petitioner alleged that the suspect claimed to know an in-law to the then Nigerian Ambassador to Canada and promised to help him secure a two-year visa to United States of America.
“I paid a total sum of one million, four hundred and thirty six thousand naira (N1, 436, 000) into Mr Henry’s Diamond Bank account, but the visa was not processed.
At a point, he asked me to go to the Abuja International Airport and wait for the personal assistant to the Nigerian Ambassador to Canada whom I will be travelling with, but I did not see anybody when I got there. I tried to call Henry, but his phone was switched off,” Princewill said
The defence counsel, Pius Ezeh moved the oral application for bail but was opposed by the prosecution counsel, Chioma Okongwu.
Justice Ajoku in her ruling said the defence counsel did not present anything before the court to show why the accused should be granted bail. She therefore adjourned the matter to 29th November, 2012 for hearing on the bail application and ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody till then.